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Supreme Court orders release of scribe Prashant Kanojia

Prime News, National, New Delhi, June 11:- The Supreme Court on Tuesday (June 11), ordered journalist Prashant Kanojia should be released immediately on bail, expressing incredulity at the length of remand. The court said that though they do not appreciate the tweets, the judicial custody till June 22 was “not appropriate.”

A vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi on Monday, heard the plea. “Right to Liberty of a citizen has been infringed,” said Justice Banerjee, adding that one can’t take for granted that people believe everything on social media and there is no basis to believe a post will mislead people.

Questioning Kanojia’s arrest, Justice Banerjee said, “We do not appreciate these tweets, but can you put him behind bars for this?” The release will not amount to approval of the tweets, as claimed by the UP lawyer, and will only express disapproval of the incarceration, said the apex court.

Regardless of the contents of the tweet, Justice Banerjee said the arrest was unwarranted. After the lawyer for UP cited Section 505 for Kanojia’s arrest, Justice Rastogi raised doubts on how the provision applied in this case. Justice Banerjee also said the judicial order by the magistrate, remanding him to judicial custody till June 22, was “not appropriate.”

While dictating the order, Banerjee said, “We cannot sit back and do nothing on technical grounds. We direct that the petitioner’s husband be immediately released on bail on such grounds as specified.”

She added, “Need not comment on the contents of the tweets. The question is, should the petitioner have been deprived of his liberty over them. The answer to that is prima facie in the negative.”

Prashant Kanojia’s wife Jagisha Arora’s lawyer Shadan Farasat said that they will approach the Delhi High Court to quash the FIR against him.

Arora addressed the media after the judgement and said she is happy and hopes for Kanojia to come out of jail as soon as possible.

An FIR was registered against Kanojia by a sub-inspector at the Hazratganj Police Station in Uttar Pradesh on Friday (June 7), night in which it was alleged that the accused made “objectionable comments against the Chief Minister and tried to malign his image.”

 

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